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Windows Xp Seriously Lagged On Startup


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#1 treblesum81

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 05:15 AM

Hi all,

I recently got around to fixing my wife's laptop's tendency to always want to install the same update every time she shuts it down. After doing some research I found that the fix involved uninstalling some previous updates until before the offending update and then working forward from there again. Only problem is, now that those updates are rolled back, her computer essentially freezes (it doesn't really freeze, but the simple act of opening the task manager takes 30min) and I can't get it to load Interned Explorer to reinstall the updates.

Some things I've already tried:

Start in safe mode w/ networking to try to install the updates again (get web-page error and can't d/l)
Start in safe mode and reinstall drivers (read that a similar problem was fixed by updating drivers) -- all drivers updated, still broken
Start in safe mode and try to get access to msconfig.exe to clear out all startup programs -- Can't find msconfig and the "run" menu item is missing (might just be stupid here).
Start in safe mode and disable all startup programs using a third party program -- startup initially faster, but still no response after reaching desktop

Now, the computer loads up to the desktop just fine, but once its there, I can't get it to do much at all, even if I'm patient with it. I've read on these forums that someone had a similar issue where the computer essentially was frozen on startup, but would operate normally if the user waited an hour. I have not tried this yet, but I didn't see that that person's issue was resolved anyway.

Also, when I try to shut the computer down from the desktop (not in safe mode) I get a program close window for "hsm sink window", which I have not been able to find ANY information about online other than the fact that 2-3 other people are experiencing the same thing... none of which had their problems resolved, though their problem was related only to shutting down and not locking up on startup.

Anyway, if anyone can help, please, please do as I really need to get this computer back in working order quickly. Also, please note, reformatting this computer's hard drive is absolutely not an option as it has all of our family photos and many home videos on it (I know... call me stupid later).

Thanks,
Greg

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#2 cryptodan

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 05:51 AM

What are your system specs, and what is your OS and all applicable updates.

#3 treblesum81

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 12:24 PM

System is a Dell Inspiron E1505

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8600 (I think... about 80% sure)
RAM: 1GB
HDD: 100GB
(Anything else you might need, please be specific and I'll look for it)

The machine is running Windows XP Media Center SP2. I rolled back the updates for Windows XP to July of 2007 (thats when the original problem started), So it has all updates prior to then for Windows and I left the updates for other MS software alone.

Also, I tried starting in Diagnostic mode today and recieved DST Short test failures. I looked up that this means something along the lines that the HDD is dead, but the computer starts up perfectly fine into safe mode, so I'm leaning more towards some sort of software error than a bad HDD.

Thanks,
Greg

#4 cryptodan

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 12:28 PM

Seems like a program that was once loaded is no longer there, and is bringing up the blank window for it. Id load up safe mode and lauch msconfig and disable all start up programs.

#5 treblesum81

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 01:47 PM

For some reason I can't find msconfig.exe when in safe mode, and the "Run" start menu option is not there. I've looked through the whole Windows directory and not been able to find it. Perhaps the drive really is dead / dieing? I'm in the process of conducting a system restore to a time prior to my little adventure here to see if that at least helps the problem.

Thanks,
Greg

#6 cryptodan

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 02:11 PM

Go to Start ----> All Programs ----> Accessories -----> Command Prompt there you can launch msconfig. it is also located in:
c:\windows\pchealth\helpctr\binaries

or

c:\windows\servicepackfiles\i386\

#7 treblesum81

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 02:15 PM

System restore is a no go... still gets to desktop and freezes

#8 usasma

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 02:19 PM

DST stands for Drive Short Test - and as such, I'd suspect that your hard drive is beginning to fail. This would also explain the serious slowdown when starting up the system - as the hard drive has to read itself several times (for each access) to verify the data that it's accessing.

As a first priority I'd backup your data immediately. It's impossible to tell when the drive is going to die completely - but data recovery becomes very expensive once the drive dies.

After that, I'd try a diagnostic utility from the manufacturer of your hard drive (the common one's are listed here: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/28744/hard-drive-installation-and-diagnostic-tools/ ) If you can't locate the manufacturer of your hard drive, I'd suggest trying the Hitachi Drive Fitness Test. And, if that doesn't work, then try the SeaGate SeaTools test.
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#9 treblesum81

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 02:50 PM

Ok, disabling all system services (except the required ones) allows windows to boot to desktop without troubles. I'm not able to get online to start the update process yet though, as those services are not loaded. Can someone please tell me which services those are so I can reactivate them and try to start updating?

Thanks,
Greg

#10 cryptodan

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 02:56 PM

Automatic Updates is required for updating windows. Although you could download the full 320Meg SP3 Install

#11 treblesum81

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 04:33 PM

Ok, I've managed to start updating again... though when I try to install the Windows XP Media Center Rollup 2 update, it fails trying to copy a file called pxdrv.dll. Apparently, this is related to Sonic Solutions, something that shouldn't have been there in the first place (Sonic came with the computer, but we removed it in favor of Roxio), so I'm going to look into the possibility that this mess could have been caused by removing manufacturer installed software...

Edited by treblesum81, 14 September 2008 - 04:35 PM.


#12 treblesum81

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 10:26 PM

Here is an update, after running chkdsk.exe from safe mode and letting the system boot to the disk repair tool, the program found and corrected several errors on the drive. After this, I was able to boot to windows normally and everything has started to work correctly... for now at least. As a precaution, I'm going to find the HDD diagnostic tools to see just how bad the drive is, and in the mean time I'll begin seriously backing up all of those important files in case the thing really dies on me.

Further updates will come if applicable, but thank you for the advice to help me work through this.

Thanks again,
Greg




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